Sporting the iconic bee of Manchester in its logo, Cottonopolis is an ode to the heritage of the city in which it resides. Having never been before, receiving an invitation to sample their latest cocktail menu was an offer we couldn’t refuse.
As you walk into the venue, it’s immediately apparent that Cottonopolis isn’t like its other Northern Quarter brothers. Housed in an historic fabric manufacturing shop, it has the same air of substance as old leathery books but with glamour more akin to somewhere in Spinningfields than little old NQ. A big, open space, with long wooden tables, stools and a luminescent vibe, this is a vast bar with plenty of room for mingling, dancing and of course, drinking…
Speaking of which, the cocktails were lovely and boasted an exciting creativity. Marketing trope or not, Cottonopolis really does offer something for everyone where cocktails are concerned. We were lucky enough to try several for ourselves:
Dead Red (£9) – served in a little milk bottle with a straw, this syrupy, red cocktail had a deep and intense flavour. If you like Bloody Marys, this one might be up your street, with hints of smoky BBQ flavours mixed in with the gin.
Manchester Maid (£9) – made using Cottonopolis’ very own gin – which is new, we might add, the Manchester Maid is a real favourite. The calamansi lime, mandarin cordial and bergamot were enough to make our mouths water. It was no surprise to hear it is one of their best-selling drinks.
Jigglypuff (£9) – PokemonGo may well have fizzled out of popular culture, but don’t let that deter you from trying this drink. Not only is it served in a curvaceous martini glass, it even comes with a Pokemon card clipped on with a nostalgic wink. It tasted pretty yummy too.
The Vanishing West (£9) – this one’ll put a few hairs on your chest – but only a couple, mind. The bitter bourbon kick is softened by the sherry and blood orange soda that have been trickled into the mix, making it a winner for people of all tastes.
Canapés and Other Treats
If cocktails aren’t your thing, not to worry, Cottonopolis has added to its buttons and developed its own gin in collaboration with the well-known gin brand, Portobello Road. It may not be the norm for us to drink neat gin, but we gave it a go anyway in aid of giving their signature spirit some well-deserved attention… and it was worth it. Similar to Portobello Road gin, Cottonopolis’ own creation has a lovely, aromatic flavour with nutmeg and orange. It made a gin and tonic fit for kings, to boot.
Also on offer was the lovely Jinzu gin – a Japanese style spirit that had a delicate flavour that complemented the restaurant bar’s fantastic array of sushi. Sushi? I hear you ask. In the Northern Quarter? Yep, you heard right. Served on an elegant slate platter, there were vegetarian nigiri, tuna rolls and other rice-y delights. There was absolutely nothing better than sinking into our chairs eating away at our sumptuous chicken satay skewers and nursing our Jinzu gin and tonics. What a great way to spend an evening; we’ll definitely be back again soon.
It’s time for you to Cotton On and visit for yourself.